Viva Piñata

Viva Piñata

What we liked:

-Simple & Addictive Gameplay
-Cute & Loveable Characters
-Romance Dancing
-Tons Of Replayability

What we didn't like:

-May Make You Feel Like Less Of A Man If You Cry When Your Pretztail Dies

DEVELOPER: Rare   |   PUBLISHER: Microsoft Game Studios   |   RELEASE: 11/14/2006

Do you know what a Horstacio is? How about a Chewincorn? No? Well you have not played Viva Piñata. Viva Piñata is the latest creation from Rare software, the developers of Perfect Dark, and Kameo. This game ties a lot of different genres together, but unlike other games it does not fail in the execution of any of them.

Initially, when I read about the new game from Rare, I hoped it would be that new Killer Instinct that we are all waiting for. So you can imagine my surprise when I found out that not only does this game NOT contain blood and violence, but it is a kid’s game. So once I finally got over the fact that they don’t want to make a new KI game apparently, I decided to pick up Viva Piñata, and I gotta say-.this is a very excellent game.

Having played games like The Sims and Harvest Moon, I was very comfortable with the setup of VP. When you get into the game, you are told that you are now the owner of this garden. In Harvest Moon fashion, that garden is a mess. The nice thing is later in the game you will be able to hire people to take care of all the mundane tasks like watering flowers and pulling weeds.

Until then, you will have to go about removing all of the bad things and flattening out the soil yourself so that you can plant things. Once complete, you are shown a cut scene of this cute worm piñata who wanders into your garden and decides to make it his home. From there it only gets better as you build different homes and plant different flowers so that more and more piñata will be attracted to your garden.

The objective to the game is to become the best piñata gardener in the land. You will have to watch over your piñatas constantly. They all require certain things to be happy. If you meet certain requirements, your piñatas will also get together and perform the romance dance. It is at this time that you have direct control of your piñata. I have never seen anything funnier than two piñata making whoopee.

It’s not what you think though. They dance with each other. Yes, actually dance with each other, and the stork brings an egg. It’s great. Now everything is not all cookies and rainbows in VP land. You will be visited by the Sours. The Sours are red piñatas that are upset about everything. They come in your garden and fight with your piñata, as well as spit out sour candy which can make your piñatas sick. Later in the game, you will be able to buy a dog that will make sure your garden stays safe at all times.

The cast of characters in this game are fun as well. Seedo, who will constantly be in your garden checking out your plants and dropping new seeds for you, is a riot. Try hitting him with your shovel. At a certain point in the game you will get a beggar in your garden who wants some coins. It is in your best interest not to hit him with your shovel, but actually do give him some coins. Trust me it is worth it.

The other characters in the game range from a piñata hunter, to an eccentric inventor. The only character I have seen that serves virtually no purpose is Leveos, the girl you meet at the beginning. She just walks around the garden. There is no real story to the game that I can see. You just keep playing it, like the Sims. All the while trying to get some rare piñatas to come and live in your garden.

Now I am by no means a soft guy, but I gotta say that the piñata in this game are cute. From the pretztail, to the flutterscotch’s they are all adorable. The visuals in this game are top notch. Everything has a piñata feel to it. You will notice the flowing paper as they move about in your garden. Even the grass is piñata paper. I was not disappointed about anything in this game. I had intended to keep it for only a short time, but I am having so much fun with it I really think it is going to last a lot longer. Even though it might look like it’s for kids, trust me it is for adults, too. Guys or Gals, everyone who is a gamer and enjoys games like Sims, and Harvest Moon should pick this one up. You won’t regret it.

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